The Supreme Court delivered a historic ruling on Wednesday and slammed the U.S. Constitution down hard on corrupt states.
The nation’s highest court delivered a 9-0 ruling that states must adhere to the Constitution’s ban on excessive fines, meaning states will be limited in their ability to impose certain fees and seize property.
The ruling is a major blow to corrupt states who were imposing daunting fines on people and seizing their property after an arrest.
Here’s more from The Hill on the historic ruling:
In delivering the opinion of the court, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said the Eighth Amendment guards against abuses of the government’s punitive or criminal law-enforcement authority, and that it extends to fines.
“This safeguard, we hold, is ‘fundamental to our scheme of ordered liberty,’ with ‘deep roots in our history and tradition,’” she said, quoting Supreme Court precedent.
Ginsburg, who returned to the bench for oral arguments Tuesday for the first time since undergoing surgery in December, was joined in the ruling by Chief Justice John Roberts, Justices Stephen Breyer, Samuel Alito, Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan, Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh. Justice Clarence Thomas filed an opinion concurring in the judgment.
The case centered on Tyson Timbs, who pleaded guilty in Indiana state court to dealing in a controlled substance and conspiracy to commit theft. When Timbs was arrested, police seized the Land Rover he had purchased, for $42,000, from an insurance policy he received when his father died.
The state then brought a civil forfeiture suit against Timbs for his vehicle because it had been used to transport heroin. The trial court denied the state’s forfeiture request.
Since Timbs had recently purchased the vehicle for more than four times the maximum $10,000 monetary fine he can be charged for the drug conviction, the court said the forfeiture violated the Eighth Amendment.
The Indiana Supreme Court ultimately reversed that ruling, holding that the Excessive Fines Clause constrains only federal action and is inapplicable to state impositions.
The high court vacated that ruling Wednesday.
The Supreme Court has been on a roll lately.
Last month, the High Court delivered a massive 5-4 ruling in favor of President Donald Trump’s transgender military ban.
On Tuesday, the Justices on the High Court didn’t rule on the merits of the case, but held that the ban will go into effect while the lower courts work through appeals.
The four liberal Justices objected to the Trump administrations policy that banned most transgender people from serving in the U.S. military.
The policy was first announced by Trump in July 2017 and later confirmed by then-Secretary of Defense James Mattis last year.
While the policy is in effect, it blocks individuals who have been diagnosed with a condition known as gender dysphoria from serving.
The policy also indicates that individuals without the condition can serve in the armed forces, but only if they do so according to their biological sex.
In July 2017, Trump made the announcement via Twitter, indicating that numerous military leaders supported the decision and argued that some transgender individuals would not be capable of effectively doing their job in battle.